An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Taozhai jijin lu 陶齋吉金錄

Jan 3, 2020 © Ulrich Theobald

Taozhai jijin lu 陶齋吉金錄 "Records of auspicous bronzes from Taozhai Studio" is a book on bronze inscriptions compiled during the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Duanfang 端方 (1861-1911), courtesy name Wuqiao 午橋, style Taozhai 匋齋, posthumous title Zhongmingong 忠敏公, from the Tohoro Clan (Ch. Tuoteke 托忒克氏 or Tuohuoluo 托活洛氏) and a member of the Manchu White Plain Banner (Manzhou zhengbai qi 滿洲正白旗).

Duanfang was a enthusiast collector of books and paintings as well as of rubbings of stone inscriptions. One jewel of his collection was a set of bronze objects unearthed in the village of Doujitai 斗雞臺 in the prefecture of Fengxiang 風翔, Shaanxi, the location of the capital region of the Western Zhou dynasty 西周 (11th cent.-770 BCE), among them were twelve vessels for sacrificial wine. Duanfang also held for some time the famous tripod of Duke Mao (Mao gong ding 毛公鼎), which was among the colletion of Chen Jieqi 陳介祺 (1813-1884).

Figure 1. First object described in the Taozhai jijin lu 陶齋吉金錄
Lifelike drawing of a you 卣-type bronze vessel with handle, with rubbing of the "inscriptions" (a symbol in the shape of a tripod) inside the cover and the vessel. The text to the left gives exact information on the size of the object such as height, diameter of the mouth, and diameter of the belly.

For the catalogue of his collection, Duanfang used traditional rubbing and reproduction methods for the illustrations, while the explanative texts, written by hand, were printed by lithographic method. The book consists of a main part (Zhenglu 正錄) and a continuation (Xulu 續錄), plus an appendix (Lingbu 另補) recording 8 objects. The main part includes 140 objects, mainly ritual vessels, from the Shang 商 (17th-11th cent. BCE) and Zhou periods, nine weapons, 32 weights and measure tools from the Qin 秦 (221-206 BCE) to the Tang period 唐 (618-907), and 148 other objects dating from the Qin to the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). There is a small appendix with 30 objects from the Six Dynasties 六朝 (222~589) and Tang periods. The continutation includes 55 bronze vessels, 4 weapons, and 21 other objects from the imperial time.

The Taozhai jigu lu was first printed in 1908, the continuation (Taozhai jigu xulu 陶齋吉金續錄) in 1909.

Li Fei 李飛 (2019). "Taozhai Bowuguan yu wan-Qing jinshi wenhua zhuanxing 陶齋博物館與晚清金石文化轉型", Zhongguoo Guojia Bowuguan guankan 中國國家博物館館刊, 2019-01.
Li Wen 李文 (2018). "Taozhai jijin tuoben (Minguo) 陶齋吉金拓本(民國)", Nanjing Daxue xuebao (Zhexue renwen kexue shehui kexue) 南京大學學報(哲學•人文科學•社會科學), 2018 (7).
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1501.